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30 years since the premiere of Škoda Favorit

30 years ago, ŠKODA entered a new era. The modernized hatchback ŠKODA FAVORIT was first introduced to the public at the International Engineering Fair in Brno on Wednesday, September 16, 1987, with a modern concept that was fully comparable with the Western class competition. He also shone on racing tracks and started the dynamic development of ŠKODA.

"The FAVORIT has laid the foundation for the new era of ŠKODA. Although it was created under difficult conditions, a team of fiery and enthusiastic designers managed to create a car that could be fully measured with Western competition at the time, " says Bernhard Maier, Chairman of the ŠKODA AUTO Board of Directors. "The progressive concept of the FAVORIT, along with the skills and knowledge of the staff, was a decisive factor in why the Volkswagen Group was applying for a ŠKODA brand after the change in the social system in Czechoslovakia," adds Maier.

The project of a new passenger car ŠKODA FAVORIT with a front engine and a drive of the front wheels started the decision of the Czechoslovak Government in December 1982, the implementation dates were gratifying: to complete the development within two and a half years (until 30 June 1985), start production within five years. Head of Implementation Team Ing. Petr Hrdlička, CSc. assembled highly qualified, dedicated and motivated workers around them, and together they embarked on a task the outcome of which has been unprecedentedly developed by ŠKODA.

Packaging sold by: Design by Bertone

An important role for the adoption of the new car was its design. In line with period trends, Italian designers, namely the Turin studio Stile Bertone, chose the hatchback, the estate, the sedan, the coupe, the interior design and the production of 19 prototype bodyworks of various designs. The team of the Mladá Boleslav carmaker, who carried out the top-notch work, was transforming the design into a mass-produced car. Against the body of the predecessor with the rear engine (ŠKODA 120), the number of moldings decreased from 405 to just 227, by 40 mm shorter FAVORIT offering an 85 mm longer interior and a larger volume of luggage space. ŠKODA FAVORIT has become a full-fledged family car, and it has been made even more expensive FORMAN wagons.

Wide international cooperation

The ŠKODA team worked closely with the Institute for the Study of Motor Vehicles in Prague (ÚVMV), where, for example, simulated driving tests were conducted - during the week they were able to create a load corresponding to 100,000 km. The prototypes had to stand on track for a quarter of a mile. Tests took place in the mountainous alpine terrain and the warm climate Riviera, the brakes were checked on the Austrian alpine roads at Grossglockner and Turacherhöhe. ŠKODA specialists have also cooperated with a number of renowned foreign specialists, Porsche specialists have also worked on the functionality of engine mounting, front axle geometry and noise reduction in the interior. In the final stage of the development of ŠKODA FAVORIT, dynamic tests were carried out on the Porsche polygon in Weissach.

Great attention was paid to the "heart" of the new model - a well-established four-cylinder OHV with a displacement of 1289 cc, 46 or 43 kW, equipped with carburettor or later fuel injection. Fulfillment of new emission regulations and high lifetime demands required more durable materials for valve seats, steel core pistons, better cylinder inserts, but also engine block reinforcement, hardened crankshaft application and many other modifications.

MSV Brno, 1987: Sharply watched premiere

The official world debut of the ŠKODA FAVORIT passenger car took place on September 16, 1987, at the 29th International Engineering Fair in Brno, where hundreds of hundreds of eager motorists made their way. In the Vrchlabí branch there was only a limited number of cars for homologation tests, the full production started here in early December 1987. In the main race in Mladá Boleslav, FAVORIT series production started in August 1988. The first cars FAVORIT 136 L (de Luxe) reaching end customers in the last quarter of 1988 at a cost of CZK 84,600 (the ŠKODA 120 L was CZK 65,630), with an average gross monthly wage of 3030 crowns.

Upgraded FAVORIT: Still on level

Following the Velvet Revolution in November 1989, the transition to the market economy made it clear that the long-term competitiveness of ŠKODA will only be ensured by a strong foreign partner. The demanding negotiations were successfully concluded in the spring of 1991 and ŠKODA became a member of the Volkswagen Group. The ŠKODA FAVORIT, one of the few modernly-designed unlicensed cars of the former Eastern Bloc, has been a very solid foundation, continuously appreciated by increasing the quality, technical and aesthetic level. The first adaptation of the appearance took place in 1991, when the asymmetrically placed logo on the radiator grille shifted to the center. The distinctive facelift of January 1993 embraced the impressive publicity campaign with 548 flags located at the places where the changes were made.

The FAVORIT model series has been able to keep pace with growing customer demands for safety, comfort and appearance thanks to its progressive modifications. Success has even been on the most demanding markets, for example, sales in Germany have risen almost doubled (1990/1991). The sale of the ŠKODA FAVORIT and the FORMAN station wagon also supported action versions with extended equipment such as Sport Line, Black Line, Marathon and Excellent. Between August 1987 and September 1994, 783,168 ŠKODA FAVORIT cars were created, together with the FORMAN station wagon and commercial derivatives, including the PICK-UP type, produced 1,047,126 cars. The rake was then taken over by ŠKODA FELICIA / FELICIA COMBI.

Motorsport: FAVORIT the king not only of his class

The new ŠKODA FAVORIT entered the World Automotive Championships at the end of 1989 and quickly followed the great successes of the rear-wheel drive cars in Mladá Boleslav. In 1990, ŠKODA FAVORIT was launched in selected rally events of the World Championship, Europe and Czechoslovakia. The engagement of the ŠKODA Motorsport team has been gradually expanding, so in 1994, the FAVORIT has already completed all of the MS series. The world's oldest and most prestigious car racing race, the Monte Carlo Rally, was the greatest achievement. The tiered Siberian / Gross tandem with the FAVORIT 136 L was able to win its class four times in a row (1991-1994). In 1994, ŠKODA FAVORIT won a total victory in the FIA ​​Formula 2 World Cup for cars with a 2000 cm3 engine and one-axle-driven.

ŠKODA AUTO marks the anniversary of the significant FAVORIT series reminding us, among other things, from today's extraordinary exhibition of unique documents and prototypes in the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav or moderated meeting with the leading personalities who stood at the birth of a car that meant for ŠKODA branding a new stage dynamic development on September 26 from 17:30 at the ŠKODA Museum.

Source: tz Škoda-car, edited editorially

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